Workshop: Sustainable activism: How to avoid becoming burnt out as an activist
One of the biggest challenges in the social change movement is maintaining activists. More often than not there are too few people who are committed to seeing an issue or campaign through. While there are a number of reasons for this, including competing commitments and changing personal circumstances, a major reason is one which is rarely spoken
about – burn out. This can, however, be avoided if those participating in social change
activism better equip themselves and their fellow activists to deal with the situations they might encounter as they go about their activism
This workshop will introduce some of the basic concepts of sustainable activism drawing on the work done by Hilary Rettig, Pattrice Jones and Melanie Joy, and others.
It aims to identify the impact our activism has and take a proactive approach to how we deal with any problems which we may encounter by introducing the concepts of building
resilience and mindfulness as techniques to avoid burnout.
This workshop draws on my personal journey as an activist and his professional experiences working with social change activists
This workshop is only intended to be a start of a discussion, introducing the concepts to participants.
I have been involved in social change activism since I stopped eating animals on January 1 1994. I have been an active participant in the Australian animal rights movement since February 1994 and continue to work with a number of
organisations on campaigns. In 2001 I established A Poultry Place animal sanctuary in southern NSW, which was one of the very first sanctuaries in Australia devoted to “farm animals” (ie: those that most people only view as food). Since 2003 I have worked as a community organiser with the human rights organisation Amnesty
International, a role which sees me working on a day-to-day basis with volunteer activists in regional and rural centres across NSW.